At Posh Cockney, we love events. Unfortunately, 2020 has not been kind to the events industry. Are Virtual Events the answer to all of our problems?

The short answer to this, is no. There will never be a replacement for like minded people gathering in a room together to learn, sell, be entertained or enjoy an experience. However, until we are able to do this, virtual events are a great alternative in some situations and whether we like it or not, virtual events are here to stay.

Due to Covid 19, the UK events industry is set to lose up to £58 billion this year, according to VisitBritain. Shifting towards virtual events is going to be essential for many companies to stay afloat.

I recently read an article from Simply Marketing Jobs titled ‘How Virtual Events are set to be the no.1 trend for 2020’. This article was written in October 2019….. did they know something we didn’t!? Perhaps this shift to technology has always been in the pipeline, but Covid has just sped things up a little.

 

 

There are some obvious advantages to virtual events. Geography can put pretty huge restrictions on the people that are able to attend an event. However, anyone can sign into a virtual event, anywhere in the world. Health and safety, room capacity numbers, catering and staffing are all problems and costs that will be cut. The environment will benefit hugely in the reduction in people travelling to and from events, and the large amounts of waste that is often created.

But what about the jobs? Unfortunately, we aren’t all techies. We don’t all work for zoom. So that’s hundreds of people in the events world still out of work, from caterers to florists, cleaners, event staff and security guards.

Whilst millennials are fast adapting to the changes in technology, for some people, finding their way around a virtual event is a challenge in itself. ‘You’re on mute’ is a phrase that we are now all too familiar with.

Last month I attended a virtual fund raising event for Clapham Grand. Performers were socially distanced back stage, compares were on hand to introduce each act, and fill in any spaces that were caused by technical errors, of which there were many. But on the whole, the event was a success. People were entertained, performers finally got to perform and money was raised.

A survey conducted by Eventbrite showed that 62% of people in the US have attended five or more virtual events in the past month – many of those being paid events.

Virtual events are working, it can be done. From conferences and key note speeches, all the way through to music festivals and exhibitions. We are all going to have to start getting comfortable with the world of virtual events.

 

Emma Bolton | PR Assistant | emma@poshcockney.co.uk | www.poshcockney.co.uk